Genesis, Part III
Cid could feel the blinding rays of sunlight on his face. He could also hear the dull beep of an EKG. He struggled to open his eyes, why was it such a struggle?
His extremely blurry vision captured the pale whiteness of a hospital room. As his vision slowly focused, he noticed the numerous machines and cords hooked up to his body. He was in a hospital.
A nurse soon entered the room. She noticed that Cid was attempting to move, and she pressed her hand to her mouth. She dashed out the room.
Cid tried to sit upright, but it was impossible. Why can’t I move?He asked himself as he futilely tried to move his deadened muscles.
At that moment, the nurse returned to the room, with a couple of doctors in tow. The first doctor was a man of perhaps forty years in age who looked like an overgrown kindergartener. The small, slightly thin tuft of hair on the top of his head only aided in his childlike appearance. The second doctor was an older woman whose frayed beach blonde hair and stern but wrinkleless face suggested that she was trying to reacquire her glory years.
They both took notice of Cid’s current situation when they entered the room. The first doctor’s face changed to that of an excited school child, and even the female doctor widened her eyes in surprise.
The first doctor walked right up to the bed, grabbed a rolling chair, turned it around, and sat on it backwards, with his arms crossed over the back of the chair. The female doctor remained a distance from the bed and began conversing with the nurse while looking at her clipboard.
Cid noticed that the first doctor was still next to him, and was just staring at him with a “somewhat creepy” smile.
The doctor ultimately broke the awkward silence by speaking. “Hello! I’m Dr. Gabronski! How are you?” he said. His voice and mannerisms suggested that a five year old was living inside the man’s body. Dr. Gabronski started rocking back and forth in his chair, unable to hide his excitement.
A brief chuckle escaped Cid’s chest as he couldn’t help but laugh at the comically immature doctor in front of him.
He started to speak, but the Dr. Gabronski beat him to the punch. “I can imagine that you are a little confused about what’s going on. I would be too if I woke up in a hospital! Wait… I have woken up in a hospital before… I work here… Candy?” he offered, pulling an enormous bag of candy out of his pockets, which couldn’t have possibly held the girth of the bag.
He began to stuff his face with candy. What… the… heck… -__-?Cid asked himself as he watched the doctor devouring his bag of candy.
“Well, since you didn’t say anything, I’ll just eat all this candy myself. Hey guess what? Did you know that you had a heart attack? Three, to be exact. I’m a cardiologist, and cardiologists know when people have heart attacks,” the doctor remarked.
“No, I didn’t know…” Cid stated. He noticed that his voice sounded dry and cracked, as if it hadn’t been used in several days.
Before he could finish his sentence, the doctor started talking again. “Well, you had three of ‘em. Most people die after two, but you survived three! Congratulations! Hey, do you know how you got here?” Dr. Gabronski asked, swallowing his candy.
“No, I don’t know,” Cid stated quietly..
“Ya know, that’s a shame. You just show up on a public hospital’s welcome mat in nothing but some underpants and you don’t know how you got here? Are you on drugs?” Dr. Gabronski asked as he stuffed his face with two more handfuls of candy.
“No… Why would I be on drugs? Wait… What are you doing? OW!!!” Cid asked as pain shot through his chest because Dr. Gabronski had not only magically acquired a stethoscope, but had it pressed against Cid’s chest. The other doctor and nurse looked up from the clipboard to see what all the noise was about before returning to the clipboard.
“Shutupshutup,” the doctor stated. He listened to the same spot for about five straight minutes. “I’ve never heard a stronger heart before,” the doctor declared, placing the stethoscope back in his jacket.
“Let’s play a game! Dr. Anderson!” the doctor exclaimed happily, motioning for the other doctor to join him.
The nurse left and Dr. Anderson joined Cid and Dr. Gabronski. “Can we take him off the juice?” Dr. Gabronski asked.
“Did you check his vitals? If he’s cleared, than I can take him off his drugs,” Dr. Anderson stated. Her voice was cold and stern, and her tone suggested that she was talking to a child and not a full grown man.
Great, my doctors are a child and Barbie’s grandmother… Cid told himself.
As she began removing the needles from Cid’s arms and legs, she addressed Cid. “Your name is Cid, correct? Please forgive Dr. Gabronski’s antics. He is extremely immature, but you are talking to the number one cardiologist in the entire state of Illinois,” she stated.
Once she had removed all of the needles, Cid noticed that the feeling in his muscles was returning to him. He also noticed that his hearing and eyesight were quickly becoming very sharp.
After disposing of the needles, Dr. Anderson returned to the bed. She began placing her palm against various points on Cid’s body. “Can you feel this?” She asked.
Cid winced. Oh I can feel it alright…“Yes, I can feel that,” he stated. His voice had almost immediately returned to normal.
Dr. Anderson smiled. “Good. Now stand up,” she commanded.
Dr. Gabronski was just sitting in his chair munching on his candy bag, like he was eating popcorn at the movies.
Cid tried to sit upright. He was able to sit up, but not without considerable effort and pain. When he stood up, his legs collapsed and he would’ve fallen if Dr. Anderson hadn’t caught him.
“Try again,” Dr. Anderson commanded, she sounded like a mother trying to teach her child to walk.
When she let go of Cid, he felt strength flow through his legs. Standing quickly became easy. I feel great!Cid told himself. He began to jump up and down. Dr. Anderson’s jaw dropped about as much as a person with a facelift could. Dr. Gabronski pointed at Cid and started bouncing up and down in his chair, ultimately choking on his candy.
“How did you do that?” Dr. Anderson asked while Dr. Gabronski grabbed his throat and fell out of his chair and behind the bed.
“Do what?” Cid asked.
“Mr. Rodgers, you had a full spinal tap and you just suffered three heart attacks. You were essentially paralyzed with a literally broken heart. Standing should’ve been impossible for at least a few more days. The only reason I had you stand was so I could show you that it was impossible, yet here you are, jumping up and down! Do you understand why we are so amazed at your recovery?” Dr. Anderson explained, showing slight emotion on her statuesque face.
Gabronski reappeared a few seconds later, desperately trying to catch his breath…
“DUDE… you… totally… jumped… That’s… impossible!” he stated between breaths.
“I already explained this to him, Dr. Gabronski,” Dr. Anderson stated. Dr. Gabronski sank behind the bed again. Cid couldn’t tell if he was choking again or just embarrassed.
Upon seeing the general look of amazement on the two doctors’ faces, Cid smiled. “Does this mean that I can leave?” he asked.
Dr. Gabronski quickly reappeared, stuffing three more fistfuls of candy in his mouth, completely ignoring the fact that he had just choked. He turned to Dr. Anderson, as if expecting an answer.
Dr. Anderson sighed, “We have to run a few more tests, but if you pass these tests, yes, you will be able to leave. However, you must return in a week to follow-up with us,” she stated.
“Got it,” Cid stated.
Dr. Gabronski let out a celebratory “Woot! Woot!” in response to hearing the news that Cid would have to come back.
“Okay, since you have already proven that you can stand on your own, we need to do a few diagnostic tests. Dr. Gabronski will administer the test,” Dr. Anderson stated.
Dr. Gabronski popped up and darted around the bed to where Cid and Dr. Anderson were standing. “Okay breathe in and out,” Gabronski asked. Cid did as he was told.
“Now do ten jumping jacks,” Gabronski asked. Once again, Cid as told.
“Okay last thing. Breathe in and out,” Gabronski asked. Cid performed his final task.
“He’s clear, doctor,” Gabronski stated, pulling a second candy bag even larger than the first from his jacket pocket.
Dr. Anderson smiled (Or frowned. Cid couldn’t tell). “Well in that case, you are free to leave! Your friends are waiting for you outside,” she stated as Dr. Gabronski began devouring his second bag of candy. She opened her hand towards the door, encouraging Cid to leave.
Before Cid stood up to leave, he turned to Dr. Anderson. “Do you know what happened to me?” he asked. Dr. Anderson shook her head, but her change in demeanor (her smile-frown was now a simple frown-frown) and the way she avoided his gaze when doing so suggested that she knew more than she was letting on.
Determined to not press the matter, Cid started towards the door. The second he stepped through the door, he caught a brief glimpse of an object approaching at high speed out of the corner of his eye.
It happened in a split-second. Cid found himself instinctively raising his hand to defend himself. He caught the fist that was aimed at his head long before it made contact. Even still, Cid’s own hand moved back slightly. The owner of the fist had to be strong.
He looked up at the owner of the fist. It was a tall, well built man with low, iron gray hair like his father’s, but with browner skin. He wore a dark suit and tie. The sunglasses that completed his outfit immediately had Cid thinking about the Men-in-Black. His face was in an unmistakable frown, but it seemed natural at the same time.
Cid glared at the man. Something about him didn’t seem right.Maybe it’s the fact that he just tried to attack me!He told himself. He released the man’s hand and took a few steps back. The man lowered his hand to his side.
“JUST WHAT WERE YOU TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH THERE?” Cid screamed. The doctors came rushing out of the room.
The man chuckled slightly before removing his sunglasses, revealing eyes that sent shivers down Cid’s spine. “I was just trying to prove a point,” the man stated. Coldly.
“Mr. Monroe! What point was that exactly? You have no rights to lay your hands on this child!” Dr. Anderson screamed.
“I wanted to test the boy’s reflexes,” the man responded. It was at this moment that Cid first took notice of the man’s slightly British accent. He turned to Cid. “Hello Cid. Did you sleep well?” the man asked.
Cid found himself glaring back at this man, despite the total intimidation factor that the man created just by staring back. “Who are you?” Cid asked.
The man chuckled slightly. “Well, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know when we get home,” he stated.
“When WE get home?” Cid asked.
The man smiled a somewhat menacing smile. “Yes Cid, when WE get home. You might as well drop the hostility act because I’m your new guardian. You will call me King,” he stated.
Cid’s jaw dropped. I am NOT living with THIS guy…he told himself.
“Mr. “King”, if this behavior is any indication of what’s to come, I’ll make sure that you aren’t his “guardian” for very long!” Dr. Anderson stated.
“Excuse me, doctor, but I was merely testing a theory that I had. Cid passed my test. Trust me, this won’t be a regular occurrence,” King stated with an obviously fake smile. He tossed Cid a bag. He then replaced his sunglasses and left without another word.
The doctors stood in silence and amazement.
Cid opened the bag and removed the clothes from it.
“Where’s the bathroom?” he asked.
Upon being pointed to the bathroom and changing his clothes, Cid found himself standing in the hallway and not knowing where to go.
“CID?!?! CID!!!” called a voice from down the hallway.
Cid turned around just in time to see Celine throw her arms around his torso. “I’m so glad you’re okay,” she stated.
“Group hug!” shouted a second voice. Cid and Celine were almost knocked off their feet by a yellow flash.
“Ronnie… get… off… of… me…” Celine demanded, trying to separate herself from the sandwich that she had become a part of.
“Nonono… Five more seconds!” Ronnie yelled, pulling Celine and Cid closer in a pseudo-bear hug.
Just when Cid thought that he was going to be suffocated, Ronnie released them.
Once she had caught her breath, Celine turned to Ronnie. “Next time, keep me out of that,” she stated.
“Blah… whatever…” he said in response. “So, back from the dead, eh?” he asked Cid.
“Sure seems like it,” Cid stated emphatically. “How long was I out?” he asked.
Ronnie began thinking… “In total?” he asked, “Twelve days, nineteen hours, and fifty-three minutes, give or take,” he said matter-of-factly.
Cid sighed. “Do either of you know what happened?”
Ronnie and Celine shook their heads.
“We were hoping that you knew,” Celine stated quietly. She avoided his glare in the same way that Dr. Anderson had.
What’s going on here? Why won’t anyone tell me anything?Cid asked himself as he strained to remember anything. However, all he received for his efforts was a gray mass of random images and a huge headache. “I remember Italian ice, and…”
He paused as the graphic image of his parents’ death flashed into his brain.
“And what?” Celine asked.
Please tell me it was a dream…Cid pleaded, but he knew that it wasn’t.
“My parents are dead… aren’t they?” he asked, his heart sinking into his gut. His legs had also become somewhat weak again. With the plethora of events that occurred at the hospital today, he had almost forgotten how he ended up in the hospital in the first place.
Ronnie looked away, hanging his head. Celine pressed her hand to her mouth, small tears forming in her eyes.
“Yeah… I figured…” Cid stated softly. He felt his entire body become heavy.
I’m an orphan…He told himself.
“Cid… I’m so sorry…” Celine said softly.
Ronnie slammed his fist against the wall. “It’s not fair! Why is it the good people who always have to suffer through this kind of stuff? First it was me, now it’s my best friend?!?!WHY?”he screamed. And with that, he stormed off down the hallway.
“Ronnie! Wait!” Celine yelled, but Ronnie had already disappeared out of the door.
She shook her head. “He has such a temper. You were right though Cid. The whole crime thing really hits home with him. I know I don’t like him sometimes, but it really does suck that he’s been alone most of his life,” she stated.
“Yeah, but he’s turned out fine, for the most part,” Cid stated quietly.
“Do you want me to walk you out?” Celine asked.
“Sure…” Cid answered quietly.
“Okay…” Celine said.
And with that, they began to leave the hospital.
“Hey, what did you want to ask me that day?” Cid asked, desperate to shake the queasy feeling in his stomach.
“What are you talking about?” Celine asked.
“On the phone?” Cid asked.
“Oh… That... I don’t even remember what it was anymore,” she stated.
“Okay then,” Cid responded, slightly disappointed.
Once Cid had dropped Celine off and walked a couple of extra blocks, he came to his house, or rather, what remained of it. The entire structure was a blackened ruin. He paused as a flood of memories from his last visit slowly returned to him. The unhinged door, the bullet holes, the blood. Everything seemed so freshly engrained into Cid’s brain. Gone. Everything. His house. His parents. Hislife…
Cid crumpled to his knees as he tried to accept what was happening to him. He could feel tears welling up in his eyes again.
Eventually, a car appeared from around the corner. Upon closer inspection, Cid realized that it was a Black Crown Victoria. As it rolled up next to where Cid was kneeled, the driver’s side window rolled down.
It was King…
“Get in,” he commanded as Cid wiped his eyes to try to appear tougher than he actually felt at the current second.
“WHAT HAPPENED?” Cid demanded, his despair now replaced by anger. If anyone knows anything, he does. He told himself.I don’t know how I know he knows something, but he does…
As if he anticipated this conversation, King tossed Cid a newspaper that was in his lap. The headline made his heart sink.
Crystal Springs Chronicles: Up in Flames?
The house of Arlena Rogers, the scientist featured in last week’s “Crystal Springs Spotlight” section, was found engulfed in flames tonight. Dr. Rogers also worked at the Oracle Science Center, which was also destroyed by fire yesterday.
The remains of Rogers, 43, and her husband Quintin Rogers, 39, were found in the wreckage after emergency crews successfully doused the flames. “EMTs believe that the fire was caused by a gas leak within the house. We are very sorry to hear that one of the eminent scholars of our science community has passed. Our condolences go out to any surviving family.
The remains of Roger’s son, Cideion Amadeus, 17, could not be found, leading many authorities to suspect foul play. “The fact that the son’s remains have not been located is certainly suspicious. We plan to investigate all angles of this unfortunate tragedy,” Police Commissioner Howard Wallace provided in an official statement.
CONTINUED ON PAGE A-7
“A fire?” Cid asked.
“Yes. Your parents, along with your house, perished in a fire approximately three weeks ago. YOU, however, were nowhere to be found. The doctors say that they found you on their doormat exactly one week after the fire. You were naked. Any ideas as to how that happened?” King asked.
Cid frowned. Three weeks? He checked the date on the newspaper. November 26, 2014. “What’s the date?” Cid asked King.
“It’s December 19th,” King stated in response.
So it has been three weeks. Cid sighed. He then realized that they had entered urban Crystal Springs.
“Things are going to be tough kid. You’re just going to have to be strong through this,” King told Cid.
It wasn’t a fire…Cid told himself as they pulled up to a large office building.
“This is it,” King told Cid as he parked the car.
After the reached King’s Penthouse, which was the entirety of the 7thand 8thfloors, Cid had some questions to ask.
“Okay, if you are really my guardian, then you are going to have to tell me something about yourself. Because as of right now, I definitely don’t trust you,” Cid stated.
King’s eyes narrowed. “My name is King. I knew your parents long before you were born. A few years ago, your parents labeled me as next in line for you should something happen to them, and I owe them, so I didn’t argue the point. So get over it. I’m stuck with you and you are stuck with me,” he stated.
Cid found himself narrowing his own eyes. “That’s it?” he asked.
King chuckled a somewhat menacing chuckle. “No, I actually have a couple of more things to say. My rules are simple. You stay out of my way, and I’ll stay out of yours. However, I am going to demand that you attend self-defense training with me every morning at 6:00 am. I need to teach you not to get your a** handed to you every time you get into a rough situation,” King continued.
Six o-clock? There go my weekends…Cid told himself. “How do you know that I can’t handle myself?” he asked King.
“And where exactly are we?” Cid asked as he surveyed the glass windows that overlooked the rest of the city.
“This is my penthouse at the top of the NoirTech Building. I happen to be president of this small company, so yeah, I made my house on top of my office,” King stated pridefully. “Any more questions?” he asked.
Cid shook his head, despite the fact that he had plenty more questions to ask.
“Good,” King stated with a demented smirk.
Cid barely had time to react before King had connected a punch to his skull. Before Cid even had time to regain his senses, he had hit the floor.
King stood over him. “Lesson number one! If you can disable an opponent’s senses, you can disable your opponent!” he bellowed.
Cid slowly picked himself up once he had regained his senses. Who is this guy?He asked himself.
He found himself glaring at King, who once again had a menacing look on his face. And why do I have this eerie feeling in my spine?He asked himself.
TO BE CONTINUED